Despite the constant reminders we get of irreparable damage to our planet, action against climate remains stagnant. On a more alarming note, A US study reveals that 40% of Indians are expected to have reduced life expectancy. Air pollution alone is the cause for such a harrowing figure. The 40% are at risk of losing 9 years of their lives. Indian cities, especially New Delhi, have topped charts when it comes to air pollution.
The Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago notes that people living in the northern parts of India are facing extreme levels of air pollution. The report also raises alarm that this condition has spread into parts like Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. The AQI in the northern parts goes well beyond 300 in winters, conveying the devastating state of the air. People have also developed breathing issues and other problems as a result of this.
A Dark Future For India
Last year, New Delhi got some respite when the air became significantly clearer during the lockdown. While states continue to play the blame game, the multiple plans to combat serious air pollution gather dust. The National Clean Air Programme aims to reduce air pollution by 20-30% by 2024. Though the programme was launched in 2019, New Delhi has topped charts for three straight years as the world’s most polluted capital. Recently, a smog tower was inaugurated in the capital by the government. However, environmentalists say it is likely to cause a drastic impact.
The EPIC report holds coal as the main contributor towards disastrous air pollution. The report also adds that we can expect an increase in life expectancy by 1.7 years if, air pollution is dealt with seriously. Global powers still mull over a stringent plan to help fight climate change. The phenomenon has already caused abrupt changes in weather patterns, with many countries bearing the brunt of it. Extreme weather changes, fires and sudden natural disasters can now largely be contributed to man-made activities.